Lakewood, Bear Creek gymnastics on verge

Cancer surviving coach fundraiser scheduled

Dan Williams
Gymnasts like Cymry Sweet helped make Lakewood one of Jeffco’s best gymnastics teams in Jeffco last season. But this season the Tigers will not only be one of Jeffco’s best but their coached called them “one of the best teams in the state.”
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One Lakewood gymnastics team is on the verge of greatness. Another is looking to reestablish itself as a power.

Lakewood's gymnastics team finished in the middle of the pack in last season's Jeffco League Champions with a team score of 166.425.

Bear Creek finished two spots below the Tigers with a score of 154.25, near the bottom of the standings.

But this season both teams believe they have an opportunity to win a Jeffco League Championship, as well as compete among the state's best teams.

The 2014 version of the Lakewood Tigers looks like one of the school's best teams in years, as they return nearly their entire team.

In addition, the Tigers have one of the strongest incoming groups of freshman in the state, leading coach Mary Beth Atremis to boast about her program.

“We are going to have a very, very strong team returning plus we have a great group of incomers,” Artemis said.

The Tigers from top to bottom maybe Jeffco best product this year as the team features gymnastics like senior Hannah Roshack and freshman talents like Kiki Neff.

“We really have a great group this year and I think by season's end we will be one of the top ten teams in the state,” Artemis added.

Just south on Wadsworth is Bear Creek, who has one of the proudest gymnastics' programs in the history of Colorado preps.

The Bears have won 11 state championships with their last coming in 2010. But second year head coach Mallory Poplaski is starting to rebrand the Bears' program, which looks headed in the right direction.

Last season Bear Creek continued to improve individual and team scores throughout the season and by season's end qualified two seniors for state.

The Bears now have a strong sophomore group, along with several other talented gymnasts, and Bear Creek looks ready to climb back up the mountain.

“We have several goals that we are going to try and achieve this season including making it to state as a team,” Poplaski said. “We have a good group coming back and we think we can compete with anyone in our league.”

The Bears will feature a trio of gymnasts who will help revive the program and who will all be amongst the best in Jeffco this season. Senior Julia Johnson, sophomore Laura Studley and freshman Maddie Pettit will all be athletes to watch this season.

Those who want to support Jeffco gymnastics and a great cause need to stop by Lakewood High School will be hosting the 9th Annual Think Pink Meet to raise awareness for Breast Cancer on Sept. 27.  

Longtime Lakewood coach Mary Beth Artemis is a 10-year survivor of breast cancer and all proceeds from the meet are donated to Denver Komen Foundation.